Family Tyrant-flycatchers (Tyrannidae)

Least Concern

Least Flycatcher (Empidonax minimus)


French: Moucherolle tchébec German: Zwergschnäppertyrann Spanish: Mosquero mínimo

Tyrannula minima

W. M. Baird and S. F. Baird

, 1843,

near Carlisle, Pennsylvania, USA


See E. fulvifrons. Monotypic.


C Canada (S Yukon and NW interior E to S Quebec and S Maritime provinces) S in USA to Wyoming, N Great Plains, New England and (in Appalachians) NW Georgia; rarely in Oregon, N California and N Colorado. Winters both slopes of Mexico (S from Sonora and Tamaulipas), rarely S USA, S through Central America, at least casually to Costa Rica and C Panama.

Descriptive notes

12·5–14 cm; 8–13 g. Small, compact Empidonax with short bill, short rounded wings and short, narrow tail. Has whitish supraloral stripe and bold... read more


Most frequent call a short soft “whit”. Most distinctive vocalization “chebec... read more


Breeds in mature deciduous and mixed forests, secondary forest, forest clearings and borders, and... read more

Food and feeding

Insects, occasionally fruit. Diet includes hymenopterans, beetles (Coleoptera), flies (Diptera), lepidopteran adults and larvae,... read more


Late May to early Aug; short breeding season estimated at no more than 64 days. Nest cup neat and compact, with thick rim, woven with bark... read more


Long-distance migrant, wintering in Mexico and Central America. Migrates at night. Departs breeding... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Common; overall population estimated at 14,000,000 individuals. Breeding density varies, 1·4 pairs/ha in New Hampshire (USA) to greater than 4... read more

Recommended citation

Farnsworth, A. & Lebbin, D. (2019). Least Flycatcher (Empidonax minimus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 10 December 2019).